As noted in my blog post last week, while I had not yet seen The Sound of Freedom, I knew beyond doubt that the Guardian’s review of the movie was completely biased and fancifully fictitious. Having now seen the entire film, I can say that I was first impressed with the historical narrative and firmly believe that my pre-judgment of the media criticism was confirmed and spot on. True events inspired the movie, which journeys with former Homeland Security agent, Tim Ballard, rescuing children from human trafficking and pedophilia crime. The film is more than a mere action thriller, but a trumpet blast of awakening people to the expeditious growth of this vile crime all around the globe, with the US being a prime consumer. That would seem like a positive thing.
So, why have numerous media outlets and left-leaning journals targeted the film for destruction? Are human slavery and the sexual trafficking of children an illusion, as they claim? In an interview with a somewhat more conservative news outlet, Tim Ballard himself wondered out loud why are these people “running interference for human traffickers and pedophiles?” which is a just question. (In another interview here, Ballard addressed some of those criticisms)
Some critics have implored feigned concrete connections between the main actor, Jim Caviezel, and fringe nut job groups such as QAnon. While Caviezel is a committed Christ follower and holds very conservative values, saying he is a full-fledged, card-carrying QAnon disciple is beyond a stretch. More importantly, there is nothing in the movie that supports those conspiracies. But even if Jim was part of that group, so what? If that were so, would it nullify the truth of the movie?
To illustrate the point. In 2005, a movie titled End of the Spear hit the silver screen about five martyred missionaries. The lead actor, Chad Allen, is a self-proclaimed gay man who portrays one of these missionaries. At the time, I do not remember anyone who held to a worldview of sex as defined by Christ saying, “Well, this is a terrible movie,” simply because of the main actor and his beliefs. In short, regardless of Allen’s bent and belief, they are irrelevant to the film’s truth.
So, what are we to make of this? Why, again, the attacks on the film? Some are merely attempting to deny the statistics of child trafficking and gloss over the purported crimes. Some writers used more hateful and aggressive rhetoric, suggesting the film is a “Superhero Movie for Dads with Brainworms.” Why not only the willful ignorance of the sin but an intentional agenda to see the movie go down in flames?
Are the crazed critics fearful of anything not produced with a Hollywood leftist agenda? Are they overly bothered because God is seriously referenced a few times in the movie? Is there something more sinister at play? Some have suggested that the reason for the rancor is because many influential Hollywood, rich, and political figures are involved in this sin, and they may be right. We may not know for sure. But with no logical data trail to their criticisms, one can only wonder about their attacks.
But back to a fundamental question above, what will we make of this? Not the critics but the problem. We can begin to examine the thinking in our own hearts. It’s one thing to point out the sin of the world, yet a much more difficult thing to own up to the reality of our personal sin and fling ourselves onto the grace of Christ. But from this initial internal reckoning, what next? Well, I suppose we can join the junior high Facebook fights or get out of the spotlight and do something. For me, I can’t jump a flight to Central America and work next to Nay Seals or private contract workers to rescue these children. I can, however, pay attention to the world around me and look for signs of these criminals and the children they enslave and act when I see it. To connect with some serious ministries that are actively rescuing children, note links below.
Most of all, I can consciously choose to do something good and help others in my immediate neighborhood. Sometimes it’s easier to do some major act of service when we know others will take note of our benevolence. It’s another thing to do good even when no one sees it. But that is what followers of Christ are called to do. Yes, there are profound evils in the world of which we must not make light. But instead of panicking and breaking under the pressure, we are to rise and bring help and life. Or, as in the words of the Apostle Paul, we are “not to become overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.”
So, what good are you going to do today?
Who will you serve?
Brief list of ministries that I have personal knowledge of.
–Operation Underground Railroad. The ministry that Tim Ballard launched.
–Rapha House International to provide healing, hope, and freedom for survivors – one child at a time.
–International Justice Mission. One of my daughters did some volunteer work for this group and Rapha House.
–Black Box International. I went to college with some of the founders and directors of this group.